The Medium Review : Female Led Folktastic Horror

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'The Medium' is a Thai-Korean found footage horror movie released in 2021.

I watched The Medium last night after hearing lots about it over the last couple of years, and as I had not seen it before, surprisingly, I loaded up Shudder and hoped I was not going to be disappointed, and to be honest, I wasn't. After watching it I would probably say it is a movie to watch without knowing too much about it going in, but still, here are my thoughts.

The movie unfolds in a documentary style that immerses you into the life of Nim, a shaman devoted to the goddess Ba Yan in a village nestled in Northern Thailand. Played by Sawanee Utoomma, Nim's journey is one of devotion and duty, as she undertakes pilgrimages to the sacred mountains, seeking guidance to heal her community. 

But when Nim's niece, Mink, portrayed by Narilya Gulmongkolpech, begins exhibiting disturbing behavior following her father's demise, the tranquil facade of the village shatters, revealing a darker,  force at play.

Mink's erratic actions serve as a catalyst, unraveling a tale of spiritual upheaval and familial discord. As Nim delves deeper into the mystery, she uncovers long-buried secrets and confronts the specter of a forsaken heritage. The documentary crew accompanying her captures the escalating turmoil, their cameras bearing witness to the descent into chaos.

Pisanthanakun's direction plunges you into a nightmarish landscape, where rituals and possession intertwine. From handheld shots to chilling CCTV footage, every frame is crafted to evoke a sense of fear into you.

The heart of the horror lies in Mink's transformation. As her behavior grows increasingly violent, the cameras become silent witnesses to her descent into madness. In one scene, captured in night vision mode, Mink prowls through the darkness, her eyes aglow with an otherworldly intensity. It's a reminder of the terror that lurks just beyond the realm of the visible.

It is in these moments that Pisanthanakun's camera becomes a character in its own right as well, capturing the chaos with an unflinching gaze. From the flickering light of a single flashlight to the stark clarity of night vision, every shot is done with a sense of urgency. 

Yet, it's the film's climax that truly shines in my eyes. Set against the backdrop of an abandoned building with vengeful spirits, the final act unfolds with an intensity that keeps you gripped and puts your jaw on the floor. 

It blends movies such as Paranormal Activity and The Exorcist and brings its own stuff to the table as well. I just wish I had watched it before, but better late then never.

Like a lot of Asian horror films though, it can drag at times and be a bit of a slow burn, and maybe it goes on about 20 minutes too long, but if you can put up with that, I recommend giving it a watch. I would rate it a 7/10. [The Medium on IMDB]

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